The series begins Jan. 28 at the Mendota Civic Center. Other
seminars will be on Feb. 27 at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in
Mount Vernon and on March 13 at Heartland Community College in
Normal. The seminars will run from 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m.
seminar has its own agenda. However, all three will include sessions
about cover crops and will feature a taped introductory segment with
Howard G. Buffett explaining his personal experience using cover
crops on his Illinois farm. Buffett is the CEO of the Howard G.
Buffett Foundation, a private family foundation working to improve
the standard of living and quality of life for the world's most
impoverished and marginalized populations.
"These seminars provide a significant opportunity for
agricultural producers and others to gain valuable information on
the numerous environmental and economic benefits of cover crops,"
said Steve Chard, acting bureau chief of land and water resources
for the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
Cover crops are plants, typically grasses or legumes, seeded into
farm fields either within or outside of the regular growing season.
Research suggests they have a significant competitive advantage
compared with the more traditional management practices that have
been used to control soil erosion and nutrient runoff and also may
offer production benefits.
A recent survey of Midwestern farmers by USDA's Sustainable
Agriculture Research and Education program revealed higher corn and
soybean yields in fields where cover crops had been planted. The
differences were significant, too, at 10 percent for corn and 12
percent for beans.
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The seminar cost is $20 per person. To
register, go to the
Champaign County Soil and Water Conservation District website at
www.ccswcd.com and click on "Conservation
In addition to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, seminar
coordinators are the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service,
Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts, American Farmland
Trust and Illinois Stewardship Alliance.
Illinois Conservation Cropping Seminars
Mendota Civic Center
1901 Tom Merwin Drive, Mendota
Contact: Marty McManus, 309-738-7277
Holiday Inn Convention Center
222 Potomac Blvd., Mount Vernon
Contact: Gary Albers, 618-476-7230
Heartland Community College
1500 W. Raab Road, Normal
Contact: Joe Bybee, 815-787-5480
Illinois Department of
file received from the
Illinois Office of Communication and Information]